Question:I'm going to have two finger joints replaced in the next week. What kind of rehab can I expect?
Answer:Every hand surgeon has his or her own guidelines after each surgery performed. This is called a post operative protocol. The standard guidelines for therapy after a finger joint replacement usually starts in the first few days after the operation. Some patients have to be immobilized longer depending on the joint deformity before surgery.
You'll probably be seeing a hand therapist, either a physical or occupational therapist. Splints to hold the finger in proper alignment and position will be made for you. You may have one for daytime wear and a separate splint for nighttime.
Over a period of weeks to months, wearing time of the splints will gradually be decreased. You may have to tape the operated finger to another finger for a while. This is called buddy tape.
As you get your motion and strength back, your activities will also increase. The surgeon may advise you to do what you can as tolerated. Let pain or discomfort be your guide. you will continue therapy with your therapist who can also help answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.Marco Rizzo, MD, and Robert D. Beckenbaugh, MD. Proximal Interphalangeal Joint Arthorplasty. In Journal of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. March 2007. Vol. 15. No. 3. Pp. 189-197.
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